Apparently, this cretin thinks that by making this statement, he is indicating Russian strength and striking fear into the hearts of Russia's enemies. In fact, exactly the opposite is achieved.
As defense experts are quick to point out: "Baluyevsky's statement means that, as before, we cannot count on our conventional forces to counter aggression. It means that as before, the main factor in containing aggression against Russia is nuclear weapons." That's what Russian expert Alexander Golts says. His colleague Pavel Felgenhauer puts it this way: "We threaten the West that in any kind of serious conflict, we'll go nuclear almost immediately."
In other words, what this Russian general is actually saying (or perhaps admitting would be a better word) is that Russia's conventional military power is non-existent. Thanks for the info, comrade.
So Russia will "go nuclear" to defend itself? Ah, scary prospect. Except that this "general" doesn't seem to realize that Russia's enemies also have nuclear weapons, and won't hesitate to use them if Russia does so first. In that event, Russia would be erased from the face of the Earth. Is that what this so-called Russian patriot is saying? Is he saying that Russia would prefer to cease to exist than to be invaded and conquered, say by the evil forces of NATO? Has he asked the people of Russia about that? Is he quite sure they'd rather perish in a nuclear holocaust than join the European Union, destroying all Russian culture for all time in the process?
This is classic Soviethink. Just as Vladimir Putin thinks he shows "strength" by jailing or killing his political rivals (and by attempting to brutally crush Western cultural institutions like the British Council), this general thinks he too is demonstrating Russian power and courage. In fact, both reveal the exact opposite -- the fundamental weakness of a crude bully who knows he is surrounded by civilized people and who has only barbaric violence to fall back upon, no other resources.
The irony, of course, is that while these statements are designed to encourage respect for Russia, they achieve the opposite, actually making it more likely that the world will move against Russia, fearing it is governed by a clan of feral lunatics who are fundamentally weak and cannot be trusted to wield power in a responsible manner. Certainly, it can only cause Russia's words to be utterly discounted in any diplomatic context, fundamentally undermining its international clout on issues Russia is obsessed with, like Kosovo independence for example. How can Russian complaints about U.S. "unilateralism" possibly be taken seriously when a top general is so irresponsible in talking about nuclear weapons, or when Russia behaves with abject unilateralism in dealing with nations like Ukraine and Georgia?
Indeed, hearing bellicose unprovoked rhetoric like this, how can the leaders of Ukraine and Georgia do other than scramble to seek NATO admission? How can NATO itself do other than gear up for a new cold war, including an arms race that will surely break the Russian economy, and now can the EU even think of relying on Russia as an civilized energy partner? As British columnist Martin Ivens puts it:
By the law of unintended consequences, Russia's hardmen are at last revealing their true selves to peaceable folk in Europe. After cutting off gas to Ukraine, who would now rely on Moscow as sole supplier for its energy needs? Germany and France, under new and more realistic leadership, are wary of Putin. However late in the day, the European Union is beginning to learn that it must be more supportive of Russia's democratic neighbours.
As always, by far the worst enemy Russia has it itself